Salve Regina

I meant to write a couple days ago. However, things were busy with my family so I had to postpone this until now.

I forgot to mention in my post here about how in my reading from John, a card indicated looking back on my childhood spirituality and bringing something forward into my current spirituality. Immediately, as he started saying that, I thought about the rosary. I didn’t often say the rosary, but it has always been one of my favorite aspects of my Catholic upbringing.

When I was confirmed my Sophomore or Junior year of college, my aunt (who sponsored me), gave me a gift. She said she knew it wasn’t the prettiest rosary, but it was her mother’s (my maternal grandmother’s). I thought it was gorgeous. It is probably the one rosary I pull out on a consistent basis to look at or old. For one, it was my grandmother’s and it serves as a connection to her. The other reason is that I actually keep it where I can access it fairly quickly.

My grandmother’s rosary.

Anyway, I figured it wouldn’t be a bad idea to start saying the rosary again as a regular part of my practice. Especially with Lent rolling around Wednesday I can take up the practice for the time period and see how that helps progress my spiritual path.

I am by no means throwing out other aspects of my pagan path. I have always had a great deal of love for my Catholic roots and I just didn’t, for the longest time, really incorporate it into my practice as I have always aimed to. Praying the rosary is very centering and very meditative. It is a way for my to connect with my Catholic ancestors and the tradition of it has always made me feel something. And that is something that I think is important for me right now.

I am actually looking forward to spending some time with the rosary now.

The Branches of My Family Tree

My family tree is huge. And by huge I mean I have traced back all the branches possible in my family tree. Now, by no means have I traced everything back completely. Recently, I have found some extra bits of information to include and was able to trace some of the more elusive branches back a little further. And it is quite exciting.

I don’t know why I always had an interest in my family tree. Maybe it has to do a bit with the fact that, as the youngest of my parents’ children, only two of my grandparents were still alive when I was born. I only really got to know of one of them, my maternal grandmother. My paternal grandfather, I met once as he had divorced my grandmother long before and had a new family in another state. I didn’t get to experience a lot of stories from my grandparents like some people might.

But anyway, I really enjoy tracing my family tree. I love seeing where they were from. I love knowing my dad’s side is from Ireland, England, Wales, and Scotland. I find it very cool my mom’s side is from Germany, England, and part of the family was in the Salem area during the witch trials. I love seeing their names. Some had beautiful names. If I ever have physical children I would love to name them after some of my ancestors.

Recently, I found out more about my paternal grandmother and her parents. I found out a bit more about stuff on my mother’s side too where there were dead ends. And it is exciting. It is great seeing pictures uploaded by other Ancestry.com users who share some ancestors and have taken the time to upload them.

This is my way of doing ancestor work and ancestor reverence. Sometimes I think about doing astral work with my genetic ancestors and the wider range of spiritual ancestors. The one thing that stops me is the idea of reincarnation and that they have all moved on and aren’t there to work with anymore. Plus, as large as my family tree is, there are soooo many from which I could choose to work.

However,  may do something more than just working on the family tree soon. There are some ancestors I would love to connect with. There just seems like a lot of potential there right now and it seems like it would be a good thing to try. 🙂

Graveside Birthday Party

Today would have been my grandmother’s 100th birthday. Happy birthday Nana!

A while back my sister mentioned getting together for her birthday (but not necessarily on her birthday since today is a Thursday and all) to celebrate and honor her in a way. My immediate suggestion to my cousin (who was also helping plan with my sister) that a seance, cards, and beer at Nana’s grave would be awesome and fun. Lee thought it was awesome, but either my sister Amy did not or else they figured we’d get kicked out if we all showed up, started drinking, and playing cards over her grave. That was probably true.

My sister and cousin’s plan was to get together at another of my cousin’s place (I have a big family on my mom’s side) and play cards and drink there. Problem is, my cousin Jo works most weekends and I think it ended up being phone tag between Amy and Jo and, as far as I know, nothing got planned.

I remembered yesterday that today would be Nana’s birthday and as no one sent anything out about getting together as a family for it, I took it upon myself to call my mom and aunt to meet me at the cemetery and pay our respects. Whenever I would go out there as a kid, they would be the ones I would go with anyway. Once, when I was cleaning the hole where the flower vase is kept when not in use, my mom came up behind me and grabbed me saying, “They’re gonna get you!” I screamed and freaked out because I had had my hand down in the hole. We spent quite a bit of time once finding our relatives’ grave stones and collecting rubbings of their headstones back when.

Anyway, my mom and aunt were both on board with meeting up at the cemetery today. I got up earlier than intended because neighbor’s roof was getting worked on and I got ready and got there before my mom and aunt. I figured it would be good ancestor work. The ground was a little soft but I got my blanket laid out to sit. I played a game of blitz with my grandmother (well sorta with a dumby hand really) and she won. 😛

I also took a beer with me and poured her (and my grandfather) some. I also drank some of it. Mostly I just sat there quietly-ish. I talked out loud to her and yelled at the aunts that kept crawling on me. I took a few other things with me but I never really got it out (like my tarot), but I did set up a nice little photo of her gravestone seen here below.

Beer, cards, my grandmother’s rosary, a picture of her and my grandfather.

I also took a picture of the tree their grave is next to. It has gotten so large too.

The tree where they are buried.

And my face for you. 😀

My face hidden behind my sunglasses.

It was a nice day, when I first got out there and having the shade of the tree made it nice. By the time my mom and aunt got there it was starting to get hot and I worked up a sweat trying to pull out the damn flower vase. >.< We still never got it out of the headstone so I dug a little hole in the dirt and stuck the silk flowers there. My aunt made the comment that Nana wasn’t letting the vase go because she hated silk flowers. My mom made the summation that it was because I didn’t give her the whole beer. 😛

Oh! And when I first got there, there was a crow flying around cawing, so I think the Morrigan joined me for part of the day.

After we put the flowers in, the three of us went to eat and catch up a bit (they did most of the talking because my voice is all wonky today). But we had a good day. Just wanted to share. 🙂